The Eagles have a lot of confidence in Nelson Agholor.
The team took a huge step in annointing the former first rounder as the starter in the slot bu trading away Jordan Matthews Friday, along with a third round draft pick in 2018 to the Buffalo Bills. In exchange, they will get a veteran, Ronald Darby, to help their beleaguered cornerback corps in which have struggled in training camp and in Thursday’s first preseason game.
Essentially, the Eagles traded away a player from a deep position of strength for a position of great need. And with just one year left on his rookie deal, the odds were that Matthews time in Philly would not last much longer.
Matthews led the Eagles in receiving in each of the last two seasons but was pushed down on the depth chart as the team acquired Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery. While neither Jeffery nor Smith’s contracts have the players in the team’s long-term plans, two draftees in Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson did make the wide receivers room extremely competitive and cramped.
The move makes room on the roster for one of the younger up and coming receivers competing in camp and also gives Agholor a bigger opportunity to attempt to carry his spectacular play in training camp to the regular season.
As for the cornerback situation, Darby was a starter in Buffalo and there seems to be a lack of them in Philly. At just 23-years-old and entering his third season he has a bright future. Darby nabbed his first two interceptions as an NFL player last season and deflected 21 passes in 15 starts.
Darby becomes likely the de facto No. 1 cornerback, ahead of Patrick Robinson, Jalen Mills, C.J. Smith and rookie Rasul Douglas.
In a related and seperate trade, the Bills shipped their stud receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and the Rams’ 2018 second-round pick. The interesting swap of players between the three teams, trading wide receivers and cornerbacks is an interesting move, and one which will also have big fantasy football impact.